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The Rental Lease: The Mandatory Information

Since August 1, 2015, rental contracts must include several mandatory information. They must be established in writing in as many copies as there are parties concerned by the contract (owner, tenant, co-tenant, real estate agency, deposit, etc.).

The Contents of the Lease

The contract must give precise information on the accommodation, the common and private portions and the rent. The lease must therefore specify:

  • the name and address of the owner or manager,
  • the name of the tenant(s),
  • the start date of the lease,
  • the duration of the lease : 3 years for empty rentals, 1 year for furnished rentals (if the tenant is a student, the duration is reduced to 9 months),
  • the destination of the accommodation: residential or mixed lease,
  • the living area,
  • the description of the accommodation and the equipment and especially tribeca apartments for rent or house, number of rooms, parking space integrated into the lot,
  • the nature and amount of any work carried out since the departure of the former tenant,
  • the amount and date of the last rent paid by the previous tenant (if leaving within less than 18 months),
  • in tight areas only, the reference rent established by the prefect of the department and its increase (see our article on rent control ),
  • the list of equipment for access to information and communication technologies (cable, TNT, fiber, etc.).
Namely: The calculation of the living area must be carried out with care because an error of more than 5% authorizes the tenant to claim a reduction in the rent accordingly.

For example, a lease is drawn up for a dwelling of 30 m² living space for a rent of €600: the living area must not be less than 28.5 m², which would correspond to an error of 5%. If the actual living area is only 27 m², the tenant can demand a proportional rent reduction. The difference between the surfaces is 3 m², which represents 10% of 30 m². The new rent reduced by 10% is therefore equal to €540.

Appendices to be Provided by the Owner

When signing the rental lease, the owner – or the manager he has chosen – must provide the following documents:

  • The technical diagnosis file including the energy performance diagnosis (DPE), the statement of risk of exposure to lead and the state of natural and technological risks. Other mandatory diagnoses during a rental should soon be added to the list,
  • An information notice on the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords : this document provides an update on rent review, housing maintenance, recourse in the event of disputes, etc.,
  • An extract from the co-ownership regulations which details in particular the enjoyment and use of the private and common areas,
  • The inventory of fixtures of entry (on the handing over of the keys) and of exit (on the return of the keys).

Supporting Documents to be Provided by the Tenant

Since November 8, 2015, the list of documents that an owner can request is limited to the following documents:

  • Proof of Identity: Identity card, passport, driving license or residence permit,
  • Proof of Income: Tax notice, pay slip, proof of payment of compensation (retirement, social benefits) or simulation of housing assistance, etc.,
  • professional Proof: Employment contract, employer’s certificate, K-bis extract, copy of the professional card, etc.,
  • Proof of address: Rent receipt, accommodation certificate, etc.

On the other hand, the law prohibits asking to provide documents relating to your state of health, a copy of your bank statement, a marriage contract, an extract from your criminal record or even a photo ID (other than the one on the proof of identity). The documents constituting the application file may be copies of the originals, if necessary translated into French and converted into euros. The lessor may however request the presentation of the original documents. If a natural person stands surety for the tenant, he may also be required to provide supporting documents of his situation.

The Terms of the End of the Lease

Even if a duration is fixed when signing the rental lease, either party can decide to put an end to it before the end of this period, provided that notice is given. The owner wishing to recover the use of his property must warn his tenant 6 months in advance and justify his decision by a sale, the desire to live there, to rent it to a member of his family or another “legitimate reason and serious”.

In case of sale, the tenant has priority to buy the accommodation. The tenant must inform in writing the lessor of his decision to leave the accommodation 3 months in advance for an empty rental. The notice is reduced to 1 month for furnished rentals and in certain special cases such as the loss of a job, obtaining a transfer, health problems or if the accommodation is located in a tight zone.

Jeff Campbell